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The following work has been taken from the diaries of the 247th monarch of Leo VII (N.C. 1022 - 1137), recorded while he was a student at university. In order to appreciate fully the activities chronicled in these pages, a brief review of the events of that era is necessary.
During this period of galactic history, also termed “The Dawn of the Golden Millennium”, the League of Worlds was still in its infancy, having been organized a mere seven decades earlier (N.C. 942). Interplanetary relations were for the most part cordial within the League’s borders, and the Space Navy (also known as the Fleet) patrolled to keep it so. Most threats came from lawless bands which lurked in little-traveled star systems, striking out at passing starliners or raiding isolated outposts. Few assaults came from without, but the League nevertheless maintained a well-equipped Fleet.
The terrible battles of the Gelfondian Wars still haunted the memories of the statesmen of that time, and they were determined never again to lapse into such a state of unpreparedness. Although the Fleet monitored the borders and enforced League laws, they were beginning to accept less belligerent duties as well -- a role they would wholly embrace over the following two centuries. It was in the year N.C.1026 that the Fleet frigate Kunze evacuated the colony of Meles II when its sun unexpectedly went nova. The rousing success of that mission caused the Fleet to reexamine its directives, and shortly thereafter, the phrase: “and assist” was added to the Fleet motto of “To defend our worlds”.
Meanwhile, the Explorer Corps, the exploratory arm of the Space Navy, was expanding the League’s boundaries on an almost daily basis. The two branches of the Navy, Fleet and Corps, coordinated their missions well, allowing each to use its resources effectively.
Within this atmosphere of peace and prosperity, there were nonetheless points of crisis. The League was still establishing itself, and there existed factions on several worlds which agitated for its dissolution. Inter-species relations were, likewise, relatively new and unexplored; many behaviorists of the day still maintained that beings from different worlds were incapable of working cooperatively.
In an attempt to disprove this theory, the Fleet launched the Endeavor in N.C.980, with a cross-cultural crew drawn from many different worlds. On her maiden voyage, the Endeavor unexpectedly encountered ships of the Krill’Taru, a previously unknown race of insectoids. Although the Krill’Taru at first reacted aggressively to the League vessel, the Endeavor’s crew, through a combination of luck, skill, and teamwork, managed to avert hostilities and establish friendly relations. (The Krill’Taru later joined the League in N.C. 1010.)
In the wake of this success, multi-species universities were created where students from all worlds could meet in an atmosphere of mutual respect and learning. The most prestigious of these schools was situated on the island continent of Collegium on Ammerstia IV. Six thousand students from dozens of star systems studied on Collegium each year, earning degrees in a multitude of subjects. The future 247th monarch of Leo VII was one such student, attending the university from N.C.1042 - 1046. During that time, perhaps in recognition of his eventual role as leader of one of the key worlds in the League, he kept an extensive journal. With the approval of the Royal House of Leo VII, excerpts from that journal have been made public for the first time in the present work.
Much of the diary is, of course, concerned with the mundane aspects of everyday life at Collegium: schoolwork, social activities, etc. There are several episodes, however, which are quite extraordinary -- it seems that the future ruler and his friends attracted more than their share of excitement -- and which the students survived only because of the deep friendship which they shared. These four friends were, as you will see, from different planets, and it is the hope of the Leoan rulers that publication of their ancestor’s diary will further the cause of inter-species harmony.
Some editing of the diaries was required, both to preserve the privacy of those involved and to limit the following work to a reasonable length. This process has made the resultant manuscript necessarily disjointed in places; it is hoped that the reader will make appropriate allowances. Further, in an effort to present all sides as objectively as possible, the events are related in the third person. The future monarch was both scrupulously fair and extremely descriptive, so most of the characters’ viewpoints were well-represented in the original diaries. On the few occasions when motivations or events were left unclear, official records and/or other correspondence or diaries were consulted.
Chief Archivist, Collegium Library
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